Turkey suspends judge over support for late Grup Yorum member

Ayşe Sarısu Pehlivan

Turkey’s Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has suspended Judge Ayşe Sarısu Pehlivan over her social media posts in support of leftist Grup Yorum member İbrahim Gökçek who recently passed away after a lengthy hunger strike, the Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Friday.

Judge Pehlivan has been removed from the bench for a period of three months while the HSK moves forward with an investigation into her.

After her messages in support of Gökçek, Pehlivan was targeted by pro-government media outlets, which accused her supporting terrorism.

Gökçek was prosecuted for alleged membership in a left-wing terrorist organization, and his band was prohibited from giving concerts.

Gökçek and Helin Bölek, another band member, went on a hunger strike while in prison to protest the prosecution of the group.

Both were later released but did not survive the long hunger strike.

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  1. “I advocate the right to life for everyone. This is a constitutional right and must be defended by everyone,” Judge Ayşe Sarısu Pehlivan said.
    Saying that the social media is a reflection of the lynching regime in Turkey, Pehlivan noted that there is a certain group of people who embrace law only when they need to.
    “Such an order of hatred was created that all the politicians are trying to close their ranks via this order. All the events that we see show that an order of hatred prevails in Turkey. This hatred brought about a situation that everyone blames and crushes the others who don’t think like them. This discourse is opening irreparable wounds with heavy consequences,” she said.
    “We need to be a state of law,” she added.